It excites me to find artisans who live, and work in Singapore...especially passionate young ones. Edwin Neo is one such individual.
My friend Kasraa is another. Kasraa is an engineer by training and trade, but loved cordswaining so much, he enroled in a class to learn to make his own shoes as a hobby. He was one class senior to young Edwin and they share the same master in Hungary. When I bumped into Edwin, introduced by an old friend Dominic Khoo, I was truly intrigued. This young man, was going to make, by hand, fully welted shoes in Singapore.
I met up with him at his atelier at Dominic Khoo's 28th Fevier at Jalan Kilang recently to hand over a pair of John Lobbs which were recently butchered by a local cobbler...imagine he used a wax thread and blake stitched my Lobbs. Shish. Anyway, Edwin should be able to take them apart, and resole the shoes and retain the welted construction.
He offers a very reasonable bespoke service...and he hand makes the shoes himself. He clicks, makes, lasts, and finishes all the bespoke shoes.
Here, on a mass production no 40 last (plastic last used for his ready to wear line). The bespoke line uses wooden lasts made in the UK.
The uppers are hand stretched over the last, and nailed.
Then welt is also hand stitched. Edwin has brought in the first Goodyear Welting machine in Singapore, and will use that, though for bespoke shoes, he will hand welt, as he was taught in Hungary.
I was particularly drawn to a pair of bespoke shoes displayed on a small chair:
Gorgeous work...very nicely done. Special customization for this shoe is the shorter tongue, so it does not move (wag?) around inside the boot. Nice.
And from the ready to wear line, the wholecuts
The shoes feature hand patina by Edwin. Though not as elaborate and as achingly beautiful as the works done on Berlutti or Corthay or Santoni, these were quite beautiful. The depth of the hues work well to show off the shoes.
The leather used is not top top quality...but very good value for a pair that sells for S$250.
Here is their 2011 catalog.
Ed et al
5 Jalan Kilang